So I hate sauerkraut. Much like pickles and beer and kombucha, that fermenty smell just triggers something wrong in me and sends me a’runnin’. Acquired tastes don’t normally get too far with me; if I don’t like it right away, well, there’s plenty of other stuff out there for me to eat.
But what do you know, a few weeks ago, I’m sampling kale chips at a co-op in Seattle and there’s a woman next to me sampling a bunch of fermented fare from Firefly Kitchens, a little Seattle company. She gave me a couple of things to try, a carrot thing and this Cortido Kraut. I tried them simply out of politeness, just knowing I’d hate them…but I was mighty hungry, and these were tiny samples, and I had some coffee to wash ‘em down with. I could do this.
I wasn’t crazy about the carrot one, but the Cortido surprised me. It’s just a bunch of organic vegetables: green cabbage, onion, carrot, jalapeno, chili pepper, oregano, and sea salt. Apparently, heat can beat out sour to win my favor. When we were wrapping up our demos, we exchanged samples: a bag of mostly crumbled kale chips for a half jar of kraut. Everyone’s a winner!
How do I eat this stuff? I’ve only yet had it on a Tofurky sausage (which I have to cut in half lengthwise and grill the hell out of or it’s just too meaty for me—yeah, I got issues), but the spice level is similar to giardiniera, so I could see it on potatoey things, BLTs, any sort of sandwich or wrap, really.
But what about the probiotics, schmer schmar? Yes, the buzzword of the last couple of years. This does contain the “good bacteria” and lactic acid, which prevents the “bad bacteria.” I guess I’ve never noticed issues related to not having the correct bacteria, but apparently it’s a thing. For more detailed information, if you’re so inclined, Firefly has a page dedicated to the health benefits of raw, fermented foods. I just think it tastes good.